Welcome Visitor: Login to the siteJoin the site

The Ghosting

Short story By: annemarie
Horror



There is no gore or violence just creepiness


Submitted:Jan 24, 2009    Reads: 160    Comments: 5    Likes: 2   


The Ghosting1
The woman slept by the shoreline. In front of her lay a small dock that lead into the water. She shouldn't have been there, torturing herself the way that she was but she was linked to that spot. It's funny how one event can have such a dramatic effect on one's life and cause them to stop living and replay one instance over and over in their head. The mind is a funny thing. When it gets something to hold onto, it tears into it like a pitbull. The jaws of the mind seem to clamp down never to open no matter how hard you try to free yourself.2
It was a clear day. Just as it had been on that fateful day, 2 years ago. The warm gentle breeze seemed to caress her cheek. She stirred slightly, dreaming. The sketch pad that she had resting on her lap moved slightly and the wind took hold of it, flipping the pages as if some invisible person were flipping through it, judging her work. The pages moved back and forth to reveal something very interesting. On the page that the book had been open to there was a sketch of the shoreline and the dock. There was a little girl in a bathing suit standing on the dock facing the water. Each page seemed to hold the same image. Thought slightly different in one she turned slightly and in the next, she turned some more until she was facing the front. And then the picture began to close in on the girl's face, giving the appearance for all the world of a hand-drawn flip-book. 3
The woman woke suddenly and sat up. She looked down to see the sketchbook open to the picture of the girl's face. She looked warmly at the picture and drew a finger along the child's cheek as if she were actually caressing it. A tear came to her eye. She stared at it for what seemed to her an eternity and then slowly, reached out and closed the book. She gathered her things and rose. She turned to walk away and then turned back to gaze forlornly out towards the waters.4
She walked back towards the house that lay behind the trees. The rooftop was just visible above the tree tops. IT was a warm day but a sudden chill swept through her. She pulled her sweater close about her and hugged the sketch pad to her chest. Suddenly she stopped walking and shot a darting glance behind her. There was a snapping sound as if someone was walking behind her. She turned slowly. Nothing. There was nothing there. She cursed herself inwardly for letting her nerves get the better of her. She turned and walked on towards the house. Sanctuary.5
She walked toward the house feeling the entire time as if someone was following her but when she turned back, she saw nothing. She didn't think there was enough time for anyone to have ducked down behind a tree but she still felt a - presence. It was hard for her to explain but it was as if she felt that something out there was drawn to her. She turned once more to look behind her as she opened the door and pulled it closed behind her.6
She entered the house and placed her sketchpad on the counter as she walked to the fridge to get something to drink. She looked past the fridge to see that the door to the basement was open. She frowned. She walked towards it and closed the door.7
"Damn!" She thought. "I'll have to get that door fixed." This wasn't the first time that the door had swung open. She never went down there but the door had a bad habit of not staying closed. She still had her hand on the knob. She gave it a good tug but it wouldn't open. Well it was shut now. She sat staring at the door. She knew that eventually she would have to go down there. There were things that needed to be packed up. There were things that needed to be sold or given away. But she didn't think that she had the strength right now. Maybe some day ...8
She was still staring at the door when there was the sound of someone knocking on the front door. She jumped at the sound. As she walked to the door she had a pretty good idea of who it might be and why he was there.9
She opened the door. It was just as she had suspected. There was a man standing on the steps outside of the house. She stared at him for a moment. It was obvious from the look on her face that she was not happy to see him. She stepped aside. He brushed past her as he walked in. They didn't need to speak. They both knew why he was here.10
She went into the kitchen and poured two glasses of iced tea. She brought them into the living-room where the man was seated on the couch. He smiled as he took the glass and drank deeply. It was a hot day and the house was a bit stifling, though the woman thought to herself that it had gotten worse since he had arrived.11
She took a seat across from him. He leaned toward her trying to look non-threatening.12
"You haven't been so see me in a while." He said.13
She felt like a child as he looked her. He had a way of looking at a person that made them feel as if he were looking into their souls. She glanced up at him.14
"I was under the impression that it was voluntary." She said as she averted her eyes away from him, again.15
"Yes. Yes, It is." He agreed. "But I thought that we we're making progress."16
She could feel her body stiffening. 17
"I'm not crazy." She said as she crossed her arms across her chest.18
He smiled grimly. Perhaps he was coming on a little strong and the last thing he wanted to do was to push her farther away. He leaned back away from her. 19
"I never said you were." He said comfortingly. "But you have been through a lot and even the sanest person in the world sometimes needs to talk things through."20
His glance fell upon the sketch pad that lay on her coffee table. Good. A hobby. He felt a little better now that he saw that she was doing something besides moping in the house 21
"I see you are drawing again. That's good." He picked up the sketch pad and then looked up at her. There was something in her eyes and the stiffness of her body that wasn't right.22
"May I?"23
She looked at him for a moment and then nodded briskly, leaning away as he flipped through the pages of her sketch pad.24
He looked up at her as it became evident what was in the sketch pad. One picture, over and over again. As he flipped through he saw that they were all of the same view of the shoreline. He sighed, maybe this wasn't that good for her after-all. 25
He leaned forward and as he did he saw the picture on the mantle. It was of a little girl. He smiled sadly as he looked back at the woman. A tear fell down her cheek. He leaned forward and placed a hand on her knee.26
"It wasn't your fault. You do know that, don't you?" He waited for an answer. She just stared blankly at the sketch pad. After what seemed like an eternity she slowly raised her head to him and looked him in the eye.27
"I know." She said weakly.28
"This isn't healthy." He started. "You need to get on with your life. You can't go on like this." 29
"I know - " She started to say but her gaze fell on the picture of the little girl on the mantle. She swore she cold almost hear her daughter's voice, her laughter30
Later that evening, after he had left, she sat staring at the television. It was on but she wasn't really paying attention to what the characters were saying. She flipped it off and went up the stairs. She paused at the door to her bedroom, seeing the the attic doors. She stared at it for a moment and then found herself walking up the stairs towards the attic. She unlocked the door and walked in.31
The room was dark. She fumbled for a moment reaching for the light. She turned it on and the room was filled with an almost blinding light. 32
She looked around standing at the door. This had at one point been her studio. She walked over to an easel that had been covered up with a tarp. She pulled it off and revealed a painting of the same girl playing in the sand directly in front of the dock where - 33
She winced at the memory. Suddenly it all came back to her in a flood. She had been there with her daughter 1 year ago. Her daughter had been playing in the sand. She could still hear her daughter giggling as the little girl made that sandcastle. Then suddenly the little girl had ran to the dock. She tried to tell her to come away from the edge but it was too late. She hadn't gotten there in time and the girl had fallen into the water. She remembered diving in, searching the water, and then suddenly her hand had passed through the girls hair in the water. She remembered sitting on the sand with her daughters lifeless body in her arms, cradling her as if she were a baby, sobbing into her hair. 34
Then she found herself lying in her bed, crying. She didn't remember leaving the attic. IT was as if she suddenly woke up in her bed. She looked around the room, dazed for a moment then realizing where she was. She lay back down on the bed and rubbed her temple.35
She shot up in bed suddenly. There was something wrong. She paused for a moment, listening. Then it came again. She looked up at the ceiling as she heard someone, something moving around in the attic.36
She pulled her knees to her chest and stared at the ceiling for a moment and then her eyes rested on a baseball bat that lay next to her bed. She had become used to keeping it there for protection. She stared at it and then looked back up at the ceiling.37
The woman clutched the bat close to her as she crept slowly up the stairs. She hesitated at the door of the attic and then took a deep breath. She threw the door open and launched herself into the room holding the bat in front of her. 38
She looked around and saw that the window was open and a tube of red paint lay on the ground. She sighed to herself. She frowned when she saw that the window was open. She didn't remember opening it but then again...39
She walked over to the window and began to close it when she stopped frozen. She swore that she could hear a child laughing. She peered out the window and saw a little girl running away form the house in the direction of the lake.40
"Samantha!' She called out before she realized that it couldn't possibly be her daughter. 41
She bowed her head and turned to go from the attic and again she froze. The bat she carried dropped from her hand, landing in a hollow thud on the floor. She felt as if the world around her was spinning.42
She stared at the painting for a moment before realizing what she was looking at. Her eyes darted to the tube of red paint on the floor and then back to the painting. Across the painting was written "Mommy I need you."43
She turned and stared out the window again. She heard the giggling again. 44
The woman shot out of the house, running as fast as she could. She ran into the woods. For some reason the walk that seemed to take no time at all in the middle of the day seemed to stretch on and on. 45
Frantically and out of breath she burst through the woods and onto the sandy shore. She stopped staring at the water, calling out to her daughter.A distance away friom the shore, she saw soemthing bobbing in the water. Crying, she rushed into the water and was pulled down into the murky depths.46
The next morning her therapist returned. He had been feeling worried about her ever since last night. He knew that something was wrong and he had come as soon as he could. He walked to the house and had a sinking feeling as soon as he saw that the door to the house lay open. 47
He walked in and looked around the foyer. He called out but there was no answer. 48
He walked about the house trying to see if anyone was there but there still was no answer. Suddenly, he noticed that the door to the attic lay open as well. He walked up the stairs. The first thing he saw was a tube of red paint on the floor. He picked it up and looked around. It was a bit chilly and that the window was open. He walked over and looked out the window. He closed the window and saw a reflection in the glasss of the woman standing behind him. He gasped and spun around only to see that it was just one of her paintings. 49
Then he looked at the painting more. It was the same painting of the shore that had rested on the easel, but now both the little girl and the mother were standing on the peer, facing away towards the red sunset, looking out at the water. He placed the tube of red paint in front of the painting and walked away. 50
He hesitated before turning off the light and closing the door behind him. 5





2

| Email this story Email this Short story | Add to reading list



Reviews

About | News | Contact | Your Account | TheNextBigWriter | Self Publishing | Advertise

© 2013 TheNextBigWriter, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Privacy Policy.